I am a software tester who wants to work freelance. How can I get projects online?

[This is Rosie combatting software testing crapness one action at a time.  You can do this too!]

Please forgive me for the title of the blog post. I have a particular bug bear about people asking how to freelance in software testing and then all this crap responses popping, mostly pointing to places that apparently advertise jobs or are an intermediary ‘bug finding’ service.  This question was posted on Quora and most of the answers to it were horrible, so I just had to rant! 

My answer is below:

I find all these responses depressing. Mostly everyone jumping to link to an apparent website that can provide work/opportunities. But no one is addressing the fact that to be a professional freelancer you should act professionally and treat yourself like a small/micro business. The only useful bits of freelance advice provided are also so generic too.

Freelancers are small businesses. So you need to think about how businesses normally find work. The best work is often/mostly not found on any of the sites listed. The best way to work as a freelancer is to have direct contact with your customers.

Why is no one mentioning reaching out to companies? To people, developers, designers?

Why is no one mentioning creating your own website? Or promoting yourself? Or writing about testing?

Why is no one mentioning to consider what kind of things they’d like to be testing? Or customers they would like to have? And then figuring out who to approach as a result.

Why is no one mentioning how testing as a freelancer may be different? And understanding what ‘testing’ things you would need to know as a freelancer to be successful.

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